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This election will be won in suburbs not cities.

A week before voters in New Hampshire went to the polls, NBC News Commentator John Chancellor surveyed the national political landscape of 1992, and he expressed dismay at what he found. His commentary on February 12, which was broadcast from New Hampshire, was about voters, issues, cities and the nation's future. It is reprinted with permission from John Chancellor of NBC News.

Once upon a time in American politics, the farm vote decided elections. Then we all moved to the city and the city vote was what counted. Now, that has changed again.

Which leads us to the key fact about the politics of 1992; this will be the first presidential election in American history that will be won or lost in the suburbs. Not on the farms and not in the cities, but in the suburbs. That's where most voters now live, so that's where the action is this year.

You can see it in the presidential campaigns here in New Hampshire. The candidates talk about middle class tax cuts, restoring home values, creating jobs for middle income workers. Those are all worthwhile goals; but what is different this year is that they are goals to help voters in the suburbs. You don't hear much about the very poor, the blacks and Hispanics who live in the inner cities. That may be because New Hampshire is mainly small-town and white. But it looks as though the political messages all across the country will not have much to do with the cities.

Too bad: if something isn't done about the cities, with their problems of crime, drugs, unemployment and despair, the whole country is going to suffer. America can't compete in the world if its cities are in trouble. But it's not likely that you'll hear much this year about people who live in cities. You will hear about people who live in suburbs, because that's where the votes are now.
COPYRIGHT 1992 National League of Cities
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:1992 election will be the first presidential election decided in the suburbs
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 24, 1992
Previous Article:In focus: looking back on the New Hampshire primary.
Next Article:Community building elevates youth esteem, motivation.

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